Prisoners in paradise

To reach the green space and return home safely is a trip you take at your own risk.

Walk your way to health, any age, any time, any place. Get going, keep moving, be active, shake it all about...boogie, boogie, boogie.

‘That’s what it is all about to take care of your small aches and pains,’ is the age old advise for couch potatoes. How true! Walking is the best and the most economical activity for all movable living organisms to maintain pink of health.

However, in ‘namma’ Bengaluru, we can only talk the walk as an ideal outdoor exercise sitting at home, and not talk while we walk because we need to keep concentrating on the hurdles that jump at us the moment we step out. Many parks and green spaces have sprung up in various localities, but to reach that ideal space and return home safely is a trip you undertake at your own risk.

It is needless to elaborate on the dangers that lurk at every step — morning, noon and night. Not a day passes without  the horrific news of falling trees, swarming bees, two-wheelers hit-and-run and predators prowling free, forbidding us a walk in gay abandon. The tension is palpable to you and to those who care about you. Senior citizens are caged for fear of the outdoors in Bengaluru.

A foreign tourist gushed, “In India, I learnt to look where I walk after I slip­ped on cow dung and fractured my ankle,  only to return home with a cast. Bengaluru is truly an orthopaedics delight!” Whether in the bylanes of the Silicon City or amid heavy traffic on major routes, it is not surprising to find cattle roaming free. Stray dogs and neglected pot holes also make chronic appearances. 

Perhaps, it is safest to walk inside the walls of the Parappana Agrahara prison. Lodged there with free food, clothing and shelter taken care of by prison authorities, it would be a good time to catch up with simple living and high thinking, alongside yoga, meditation, reading and writing. The maddening outside world will disappear from one’s routine, making space for the rejuvenation of the mind, body and spirit. It could work as a retreat, too. We need to find ways and means to keep going anyway.

Not everyone can do as the affluent do by indulging in frequent escapades to foreign locales, along with their pets, and return with complex tools just for taking a walk outdoors. Investing in expensive indoor fitness equipment could be an alternative. However, that’s not a solution to a majority of us.

The helplessness of the physically challenged is pathetic, indeed. No place is safe for them, including schools with perverted persons supervising children. The challenges they face and the struggle of parents to bring them up safely are mind numbing. Movement is our birth right, after all, and we should fight for it.

Recently, the Isro launched 104 satellites in one go on a single flight. Perhaps, the day will come when we are launched into another planet just to take our constitutional walk or give a safe place for our children to play.

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